When planning a vacation, a big part of the cost is travel-related, especially when you have to fly. And when you are on a tighter budget, the deals promoted by low cost airlines seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, in some cases they actually are.
It is obvious that there are both advantages and disadvantages of low cost air travel. However, most people are simply focused on the fact that they pay less for a ticket. Whether you want to visit some European castles or travel to a remote destination, it is very important to be extremely careful with your trip planning. And a huge part of your choice will be what airline to fly with.
To make a properly informed choice, you have to be aware of pros and cons. Every single decision you will make should be analyzed like this, including what airplane ticket to buy. The information below will help you to do exactly that.
Advantages Of Low Cost Air Travel
Let’s start with the advantages since these are the ones that will draw you in and will make you consider buying the ticket in the first place.
This is definitely the biggest advantage that has to be mentioned when referring to flying with low cost airlines. Most of these airlines will give you very cheap tickets and they will only serve a limited number of routes. Because of the limited routes, they offer highly competitive prices. With the use of many of these flights, you can actually end up buying a ticket that is up to 80% cheaper than with large airlines. This is especially the case when booking in advance.
Most airlines today run promotions and this does include those that offer really cheap fares. Such promotions are incredibly beneficial for you and they will further slash ticket prices. You can find such deals presented on the internet and there are also coupon books that feature them.
You might mistakenly think that cheap airlines are cutting corners so that they can offer highly discounted prices. In reality, airline safety is all about location, not about type. This is what influences the possibility of having an accident happen. With budget airlines, you do not sacrifice safety. In fact, some might be just a little safer because of locations.
The Use Of New Planes
Whenever airlines have brand new planes, because of re-fleeting or upgrades, they tend to offer some low-cost tickets. You can take advantage of this strategy that is meant to draw some new customers to the planes. This actually allows you to experience some of the best flight amenities and technology while only paying a fraction of the cost.
Disadvantages Of Low Cost Air Travel
As you surely expect, there are some disadvantages of low cost air travel. Before you buy that cheap ticket, you should remember the following.
It Can Be Expensive To Change Dates
There are situations in which you might have to change ticket dates. If you want to do this with the low cost airlines, you might end up having to pay quite high fees. While with most airlines there are some fees attached as you want to change flight date, when you bought a discounted ticket, you also need to pay the difference you were offered as a discount. This means you would end up paying much more than what you initially thought would happen.
Several Hidden Costs
If you buy a full-cost airplane ticket, you receive full-service. If you buy cheaper tickets, there is a high possibility you are going to forgo some amenities that you might expect with a flight. As an example, you will most likely need to print the boarding pass or you will need to pay a fee so it can be printed at the airport. Also, drinks and meals might not be included when you pay for the cheap airplane ticket. And there are countless other hidden costs that would appear when you least expect it, like a huge fee you would need to pay if you were to exchange your ticket.
Holding Your Seat
With budget airlines, a seat is only allocated when you actually register as you are at the airport. This practically means that you cannot get a preferred seat. The only way to do this is to get early to the airport and be among the first ones in line. At the same time, when you travel with another person, there is a pretty good possibility you will end up being separated. Be extremely careful with this when you make your travel plans. With low cost airlines, when you want a preferred seat, you have to pay extra.
Strict Baggage Restrictions
With budget airlines, there is almost always a restriction in regard to what you carry with you on the flight. You are usually only allowed a single carry-on and maybe a personal item, like a baby bag, your laptop bag, or a purse. Every single airline will have unique rules. The personal item description can actually end up being considered your coat, which is definitely not what you initially had in mind. You need to be really careful with these baggage restrictions.
Thanks to cheap airfare, air travel is much more possible for those who are budget-conscious. However, this does not automatically mean that you should take advantage of this opportunity. Before buying airplane tickets, it is important to know exactly what you will receive for what you pay. You can easily end up with surprises that will become really costly as they turn into completely unforeseen travel expenses.
Always consider the advantages and disadvantages of these tickets. You surely saw those presented above and the biggest possible problem you could face is the unexpected extra fee that can come out of literally anywhere. You have to be patient and you absolutely have to carefully do the math and know everything about what you will be getting yourself into. This is the only way to guarantee yourself a safe and pleasant travel experience.